Exciting news! I finally turned in my letter of recommendation packets on Monday! Which means I can stop fiddling around with my list of schools. I had a list of about 15 places that I liked, but finally narrowed it down to 12, which is the same number of schools I applied to for college (lucky number?). See if you recognize any of these places:
Surprisingly, applying for grad school has actually made me feel more confident about my qualifications for each program. I can be a bit of a perfectionist (especially about English) and I tend to beat myself up and generally have a bad day if I oversleep for class or don’t finish annotating the reading. There have been many many moments in my undergraduate career where I’ve felt like I wasn’t good enough for graduate school. But looking at the responses I’ve gotten over my statement of purpose and CV, I think I’m starting to realise that no one is harder on me than myself and that I need to be more confident about my abilities. If I work really hard, I can get into a top tier PhD program and the only thing stopping me is that silly part of me that says that I’m not good enough.
However, I also know that being a grad student means more responsibility, maturity, and accountability. It means doing what you promise to do and taking initiative to do even more. It means being excellent and engaging even on your off-days. Especially in a new city, it means being independent, taking care of yourself, and learning to endure a lot of lonely nights with a cup of tea and a book. But I firmly believe that life will force you to grow up and take responsibility. A lot of these things are just part of becoming an adult and I will be ready to cross that bridge when I come to it.